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Can I claim for my child having an accident at nursery?

If your child has been injured in an accident at nursery, it can be a difficult time for the whole family. Since 2000, Accident Advice Helpline has been helping people claim compensation for accidents, and during that time, one of the most common questions we are asked is, ‘Can I claim for my child having an accident at nursery?’ We would always respond that you can claim – and that you should. Personal injury claims are not just for adults, and if your child has been injured due to somebody else’s negligence, you are entitled to make a personal injury claim on their behalf.

What responsibilities do nurseries have?

When you drop your child off at nursery in the morning (or afternoon), you expect them to be safe for the time they are there. It is the responsibility of nursery staff to ensure that all children are safe whilst they’re on the premises, and this doesn’t just include staff directly responsible for the care of children. Nursery workers, kitchen staff and cleaning staff all play their part in ensuring that children are safe and preventing an accident at nursery from occurring. In February 2017 there were 25,500 group-based early years providers, 400 nursery schools and 9,300 school-based providers offering nursery provisions in England alone.

That is a huge number of nurseries, and staff working at all these establishments take responsibility for thousands of children between them every day. You do your best to research and choose the very best nursery for your child, but at the end of the day you can never be 100% sure that they will be safe when you drop them off.

What are the most common nursery accident injuries?

Statistics show that most nursery accidents happen outside, in the playground, often caused by a fall from a climbing frame or a swing. The most common injuries sustained by children of all ages at nursery are lacerations, strains and sprains, fractures and concussions. These may sound like minor injuries, but there are repercussions for both the child and their parents that go beyond simply having to cover the cost of medical bills for treatment. If you’re the parent of a child who has been injured in an accident at nursery, you may need to take time off to look after your child whilst they’re recovering from their injuries.

You’ll find your child is unable to state their symptoms in the same way that an adult can, which can make this a worrying time for parents. A nursery accident can hinder your child’s physical and mental development too, and you may find they need long-term treatment in the future or even counselling after their accident, so the repercussions of a moment of negligence by nursery staff can be very serious indeed.

What should you do if your child has an accident at nursery?

There are some things you should do after your child’s accident which could affect the outcome of any personal injury claim you decide to make in the future. There’s a three-year time limit in place to make a claim, which means that you’ll need to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your child’s accident. The most important thing to do though is to seek immediate medical attention as soon as your child has been injured. Not only is this vital to ensure that they make the best possible recovery and get the treatment that they need, it also means that Accident Advice Helpline will have access to accurate medical reports and records to compile our case against the other party, when you come to make a claim.

You’ll probably also want to speak to nursery staff to find out exactly how the accident happened and who should have been supervising your child at the time. Ask if they recorded your child’s accident in their accident logbook. This is a legal requirement and you are within your rights to ask to see the nursery’s accident book, if your child has been injured. The law requires all early years providers to notify Ofsted of a serious accident, injury or death at their premises as soon as possible, or within 14 days of the incident, so it is worth seeing whether the nursery has met their obligations.

Where can I find out more about accident at nursery statistics?

You might be surprised to hear that although nurseries are required by law to report serious accidents, injuries and fatalities to Ofsted, there has been some concern that there is a lack of data kept relating to this information. A Freedom of Information request to Ofsted in 2013 revealed that records of accidents, injuries and deaths in nurseries are not routinely kept by any government department in the UK. Fatalities in nurseries do occur, and recent news stories have included a case where a three-year-old girl died on her first day at a nursery after becoming tangled in playground equipment.

How much compensation could I get for my claim?

If you’re the parent of a child who has been injured in an accident at nursery, then Accident Advice Helpline can help you to make a personal injury claim. Even if you’re struggling financially, we offer a no win no fee service that makes it easy for anybody to afford to make a claim. The amount of compensation you could receive will depend on the severity of your child’s injuries, and how their life (and your life) has been affected. For example, if your child has suffered a serious head injury after a fall from a climbing frame, you could be entitled to receive a substantial personal injury settlement for your loss of earnings and their serious injuries, which could affect their development and quality of life in future.

You can take Accident Advice Helpline’s 30-second test™ right now, to get an idea of how much compensation you could receive. Then call us on 0800 689 5659 to speak to us and see if you have a viable claim.